Hear about JaTio’s Journey After Habitat
In 2019, JaTio Skinner achieved a remarkable milestone—she became a proud first-time Habitat homeowner. JaTio, along with her now 9-year-old son, helped build her home as part of the Agriculture Build hosted at the Indiana State Fair. Dedicated to her dream of homeownership, she completed the homeownership education program while working full-time night shifts and being a single mother.
While in the homeownership program, Habitat University, JaTio didn’t just secure a home; she also completed her associate degree at Ivy Tech. This experience gave her the inspiration she needed to continue her education and transfer to the IUPUI Kelly School of Business to earn a bachelor’s degree in HR Management. “I knew I could do anything if I could do this,” she reflects.
When asked about the role her Habitat home played in her life, JaTio responds, “Everything!” The sense of responsibility and independence she gained from homeownership is invaluable. Financial literacy courses through Habitat University equipped her with the skills to be credit-savvy and financially efficient. Describing the experience as “amazing,” JaTio emphasizes that owning a home brings a sense of peace, as she redirects her money back into her own investment instead of rent.
Her neighborhood is becoming a close-knit community where her son can play freely. Since partnering with Habitat, JaTio notes so many positive accomplishments in her life. Not only did she gain financial stability, but she also feels the program helped her build character.
One of JaTio’s fondest memories about Habitat is the care she received from the team. Now comfortable in her home, she has started a new tradition—Christmas Eve pajama parties, where family and friends gather to celebrate the holidays.
JaTio hopes her journey is an inspiration and she encourages others considering homeownership to believe in themselves. For her, the right mindset and the right commitment are key. “See it, then achieve it. Imagine yourself on closing day cutting that ribbon. It’s hope that will get you there. It can be done; I did it.”